*ATTENTION: This is a political post in reaction to religious discrimination by a Catholic school board...you've been warned*
I was very disappointed today to read an article that Perez Hilton had on his site. The title of his post read, Dear Canada: This is not cool. Being Canadian and all, I clicked the link and was wisked away to an online article about high school policies regarding student groups in Halton, an area of Ontario.
Within the first few sentences, my lip started to curl. By the time I reached the end, I was furious.
Apparently the Catholic District School Board has decided that they're going to IGNORE school board education policies that "provides safe and positive environments for students of all races, religions and sexual orientations."
Yeah. Cause that seems like a great idea.
In essence, the Halton Catholic District School Board has banned all gay-straight alliance (GSA) groups.
Why? Well when asked, board chair Alice Anne LeMay responded with: "We don't have Nazi groups either."
(This is when I started to get hot).
The article continues to say that the Board would allow students to create groups, as long as the name of the group doesn't have "gay" in it because the Catholic Church's standards.
Michael Pautler, the education director for the Board, explains that: "Dialogue groups can achieve the same kinds of objectives, but that have a broader focus on inclusion generally, or a celebration of diversity, as opposed to focusing on any one particular expression of diversity."
So, if I've got it straight, I can put together a GSA group as long as I don't use the word "gay" anywhere? Okay, so now we're just playing with semantics.
This utter bullshit makes me want to scream. Even if you somewhat agree with the Board's homophobic stance and their reference that gay youth are somehow in the same category as Nazis, THESE SCHOOLS RECEIVE PUBLIC MONEY!!!
You heard me, the Halton Catholic District School Board is funded by TAXES!!!
So this is GOVERNMENT-sponsored bigotry?
Students should feel safe in their schools and it may come as a surprise to the Halton Catholic School Board but like it or not, YOU HAVE GAY STUDENTS!
Aren't Catholic's supposed to be loving, inclusive and leave the judgement to The Big Guy upstairs? Isn't that a basic principle?
Hey Pautler & LeMay, did you spend your Christmas holidays hanging out with Fred Phelphs, talking over turkey and setting up another funeral picket? You might as well have.
I cannot imagine being a gay youth, going back to classes after break and being told by my school's administration that I wasn't, in fact, equal with my fellow students. I am a non-practicing Catholic (for several reasons) and I'm just gonna throw this newest clusterfuck to the growing pile of why I choose to stay away. Although I don't go to church, I am certain that GOD LOVES EVERYONE and He'd be PISSED OFF with how this is all turning out.
I wish I'd read about this fundamental denial of rights before my birthday because I would have blown out my candles wishing that this kind of shit would stop. It makes me sad, mad and ultimately leaves me feeling hopeless. Fingers crossed that by the time these discriminated-against youth grow up, they take over the positions that are currently occupied by people who choose exclusion instead of inclusion.
Remember the time that women didn't have equal rights? When Chinese workers, who built our railroads were also denied? How about when divorce was a big deal?
As society progresses, we move forward and perspectives start to shift. Things change and we have to adapt. If you want to stay in the dark ages, huddled in a corner by yourself, that's FINE, but nobody has the right to tell a CHILD that they aren't as good as another, just because they're gay. Especially school officials.
All right, I could write about this forever but I'm going to stop now. It's Saturday and we have to get to The Depot to get some more drywall mud for the bathroom..and maybe a McGriddle cause we got a coupon in the mail. Yes, maple chips in a pancake with egg in the middle will make this (superficially) better.